When mom is behind the wheel with no other adult is on board, keeping kids under control is a challenge…and a safety necessity. In this post, you’ll find ideas for single moms (or anyone) who want to keep the kiddos entertained, all while throwing in some low key learning. (Which is always a win-win for those of us that homeschool.)

How to End Backseat Boredom

Ladies…start your engines! We’ve collected mom-tested, kid-approved activities to turn a car trip of any length into a time for learning.

Choose a Designated Navigator (Map Reading Skills)

GPS is a wonderful thing, but children need to understand that you can’t find the leprechaun’s pot of gold if you can’t read the non-digital map that takes you there.

Print out a map of your journey, with the route highlighted in a dark color. Appoint a child who will navigate, telling you where and when to turn.  Booyah! You just taught your kids a dying art and help weaned them from relying on cell phone’s to guide them everywhere!


Visit the United States of Trivia

Everyone loves trivia. Just ask folks at the long-running TV hit show Jeopardy. You can use this fact to your advantage on any trip that takes you across the borders of your state:

Crown the State Trivia Champ (Memory)

This game takes a little bit of preparation on mom’s part, but only a little. Search Google with “(name of state) trivia” and you’ll be bombarded in fun facts, and some interesting tidbits to share with your kids.

On the trip out, you can share your trivia tidbits with your riders. Tell them there will be a reward for remembering what they learn. On the way home, turn the tables and ask them to give you state trivia.  Who will be crowned State Trivia Champ?


Let Your Destination Be Your Guide

No matter where you’re headed, you’re likely to find sites of historical significance along the way. A little pre-trip planning will ensure that you hit the hot spots for learning.

Learning for Body and Mind

A suggestion of a museum or historic site often elicits a yawn from kids. However, ask them about making cornbread on an open hearth or learning to milk cows, and you may get a different answer.

Learning to do things is just as important as learning about things. Once you know your destination, look online for unique hands-on opportunities at farms, vineyards, and restoration villages.



An Oldie But a Goodie

This game makes it easy as pie for moms to help children learn the alphabet. Older kids get a kick out of playing it, when they’re encouraged to use their imagination and come up with zany, out of the ordinary answers.

The Alphabet Game

From A to Z, each person gives a name for a male and female, a location, and an occupation starting with that letter. (“A my name is Alice and I know a fellow named Al. We live in Alaska and we sell artichokes.” –or- “A my name is Alphonso and I know a girl name is Anastasia. We come from Albania and we sell afghans.”)



One of the great pleasures of road trips is going off-course and deviating from your plans to enjoy something unexpected. With these 4 simple activities you can keep your kids learning on the road and the best part is they may not even realize it!

Additionally, If you spot an unexpected attraction that ignites your children’s interest, go for it! You may all learn something new.


What are some fun activities you do on a road trip to keep your kids learning? Comment below.




  1. Janette on June 30, 2017 at 6:38 pm

    I actually can’t say we do much road trips because I am not a fan. We try to fly as much as possible or do trains instead. But I love the ideas you have. We are more into math and science and Chess so we’ve found some really interesting ways of incorporating that into our travel time but one of the best things I believe we do is just using that time to play gratitude games and really find “beauty” and good in everything that’s around us.
    It may not sound like a game for parents who aren’t consciously living a spiritually awakened life, but for us it’s one of the best games ever. We create music and movies and art etc thanks to technology which we travel in between airports and stuff. 🙂
    Loved your ideas though. Really great.

  2. Shannon on June 30, 2017 at 9:13 pm

    I spent soooooo many hours in the car as a kid which meant hours of the Alphabet Game, 20 questions, or I’m going on a picnic. One of my Dad’s favorites however was to call cows “horses” and call horses, “cows;” when we would tell him we were wrong we had to tell him how we knew. It made us completely crazy but I did the same thing with my kids. Thanks for the walk down memory lane and the ideas!

  3. The Gifted Gabber on July 1, 2017 at 12:55 pm

    I remember playing the alphabet game as a kid on long road trips. I’m a firm believer in using every trip or travel experience as a teachable moment! – Amy

  4. Kaity | With Kids and Coffee on July 7, 2017 at 11:25 pm

    Ooooh I love these ideas!! We are big road trippers (and are actually mid-roadtrip right now), and I will definitely be using these—especially the trivia game!—when my girls are a bit older.

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